Place:Halton, Ontario, Canada

Alt namesRegional Municipality of Halton (after 1973)
Coordinates43.5°N 79.9°W
Located inOntario, Canada     (1788 - )
Also located inUpper Canada, Canada     (1792 - 1841)
Canada West, Canada     (1841 - 1867)
See alsoHome District, Upper Canada, Canadalocation during the time of "district administration" 1788-1816
Gore District, Upper Canada, Canadalocation during the time of "district administration" 1816-1849

The text in this article is based on an article in Wikipedia.

Halton County (area 228,181 acres (923 km2)) is a historic county in the Canadian province of Ontario. It is also one of the oldest counties in Canada.

Halton County is named after Major William Mathew Halton who was appointed in 1805 as Secretary to the Upper Canada provincial Lieutenant-Governor Sir Francis Gore.

Settlers started to arrive in the area in the early 1780s. The south part was first settled by United Empire Loyalists, the northern part was settled mainly by immigrants from the British Isles. As of July 24, 1788 the area was part of the Nassau District. The Provincial Act of 1792 renamed the Nassau District to Home District.

Along with Wentworth County, Halton County was created in 1816 as part of the Gore District. It originally consisted of the townships of Beverly, Blanford, Blenheim, Dumfries, Flamborough, Nelson, Nichol, Trafalgar, Waterloo and Woolwich. Over the years most of the townships were removed to other counties leaving only four: Nelson, and Trafalgar facing Lake Ontario, and Esquesing and Nassagaweya, the inland townships.

In 1973, Halton County was replaced by Regional Municipality of Halton.

image:HaltonOldTownships.png The location of the original townships

image:HaltonNewBoundariesFrame.png The municipalities were renamed and reshaped in the reorganization of 1973

The map of Halton County circa 1951 from Ontario Archives locates the communities and physical features of the county. (Click at the bottom of the page to see the map enlarged.)

Historic townships

Research Tips

The primary source for basic documents (vital statistics, land records, wills) for people who lived in the Province of Ontario is the Archives of Ontario, 134 Ian Macdonald Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2C5.

Early Records

Civil registration did not begin in the province until 1869. Before then there may be church records of baptisms and burials. For the most part these are still held by the denomination who recorded them. Copies of marriage records made pre-1869 had to be sent by individual clergymen to the registrar of the county in which the marriage took place. These marriage records are available through Ontario Archives, on micorfilm through LDS libraries, and on paid and unpaid websites, but because they were copied at the registrars' offices, they cannot be considered a primary source.

Vital Records after 1869

Birth, marriage and death registrations are not open to the public until a specific number of years after the event occurred. Births to 1914 are now available [October 2012]; dates for marriages and deaths are later. Birth and death registration was not universally carried out in the early years after its adoption. Deaths were more apt to be reported than births for several years. The more rural the area, the less likely it would be that these happenings were reported to the authorities.
Images and indexes of civil registrations for the "viewable" years can be found on paid websites, and indexes only on FamilySearch. The latest year published is not yet available online. The FamilySearch Wiki on Ontario Vital Records explains how these records are organized and their availability.

Land Records and Wills

Information on how to access land records and wills is best sought on the Archives of Ontario website. An ancestor's land holding might be found on Canadian County Atlas Digital Project if he was in occupancy circa 1878.

Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents (APOLROD). A list of Land Registry Offices for all Counties of Ontario.


The original censuses are in the hands of Library and Archives Canada. All of the original census (1851-1911) images are online with the exception of that for 1861. Not all of them are indexed. Later censuses are not yet available. Census divisions were redrawn as the population increased and more land was inhabited.
Other websites, some paid and some free, also provide Canadian census originals and/or indexes online. One can view censuses on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario or at big libraries throughout Canada.

E-books and Books

  • The Internet Archive, particularly texts from Canadian universities, can contain interesting material
  • Our Roots is a Canadian website similar to The Internet Archive
  • Global Genealogy is an online bookshop specializing in Ontario material who will ship anywhere in the world.

Some websites with more local information on Halton County

source: Family History Library Catalog